The CampKings Crew are going to #GTFO again and this time, we will head out on an overnight adventure to Gentleman's Halt free campground. The Gentleman's Halt camping area is ONLY accessible either via a long hike, bicycle ride, or by boat & is perched right along side the Hawkesbury River in NSW on the northern outskirts of Sydney. As it is situated deep within the Marramarra National Park the facilities are very basic and you'll need to bring your own supplies ,water & firewood.
This is a real remote camping experience and is not recommended for first timers...
The #GTFO Experience
The CampKings Crew took the “Easy” way in and we brought along our 12Ft Tinny “Grumble Bum” … The advice I would have here is to watch the tides and don’t go against the Hawkesbury River current! If it wasn’t for Camper Andy bringing along some extra fuel, we would probably still be there (which wouldn’t be all bad really). After an unforgettable punt up the river, we arrived at a very secluded camping ground. It was a really quick set up with the EZI KIT EasyTarp and the gazebo hub so there was time for some discovery before settling in to get ready for dinner. This spot produced a sense of ancient wonder and allows you experience a really basic understanding of living at one with nature. It is also home to some of the most spectacular backdrops for sunsets that I have witnessed in Australia.
On this #GTFO Camper Dave tried his hand at cooking a fresh, hot damper in the red hot coals and lets just say that even the ants wouldn’t have a bar of it! Keep trying Dave, it can’t get any worse right? We had a crack at a night fish but didn’t get a nibble so we finished of the night around the campfire with a well earned scotch. Native birdlife and a young couple that arrived by canoe late in the night kept us company for a “Toad-In-a-Hole” at breakfast, completing this really enjoyable #GTFO adventure.
The CampKings Crew have rated this site according to the Tent Peg Rating Scale. Check it out before you visit and we'd also love you to check out our EasyTarp camping tarpaulin tarp shelter set-up solutions here: CampKings EasyTarp camping tarp shelter solutions.
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THE #GTFO RATING CARD
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HOW DO I GET THERE?
If you're driving, follow the directions to the park via Canoelands Road and continue driving on Canoelands Road until you see the carpark on your left. You'll need to leave your car here and walk along the management trail for 8km. Turn left onto the walking track and follow for 2km before you arrive at the campground.
If you're boating, its a great place to explore by water. Head upstream on the Hawkesbury River or paddle in by kayak or canoe. Once you've arrived, anchor your boat on the timber wharf at the campground. It's located roughly opposite the community of Spencer.
If you're walking, the 10km walk in to this remote campground is worth it for the serenity when you arrive. The hike in, along Canoelands Ridge walking track, offers stunning views of sandstone ridges and the Hawkesbury River.
WHAT CAN I SEE & DO THERE?
Some fishing (we got no bites...)
Unwind and take in the serenity & relax by the river
Hike through the bush land to the salt marsh and mangroves
Enjoy the colourful display of wildflowers
Fire pits are available
Lyrebirds, wedge-tail eagles and bandicoots
Paddle the waterways by kayak or canoe and have a swim in the river
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
You should bring your Tent and Tarp set up (sites are not marked). In fact… BRING EVERYTHING YOU MAY NEED! Bring fire-wood, drinking water and supplies marshmallows, bocce and cricket set and paddle boards. Also, pack comfortable walking shoes.
WHAT DID WE RATE?
The fact that this campground is remote means that you'll probably have the grounds mostly to yourself. Relatively flat campgrounds and stunning mountain sunset views over the river make this place quite unforgettable.
WHAT WAS NOT SO GREAT?
If you boat it in, check the tides... The Hawkesbury River is strong, tidal and travelling against the current is not advised. From the boat wharf it is a steep up-hill walk to the grounds so pack light or bring wheels...
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- CLICK HERE for info and availabilities
- This is a free campground so no bookings or fees are required
- Sites are NOT powered
- Drop Toilets are available
- There is NO road access
- NOT suitable for caravans or camper trailers
- There is limited to no mobile reception
- Pets are not permitted
- Water is not available at this campground
- Treat or boil all water taken from creeks in the park
- Firewood is not supplied
- Collecting firewood in the park is not permitted
- Rubbish bins are not available, so please take rubbish with you when leaving
- This is a remote campground, so please make sure you arrive well-prepared
Marramarra National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger
CAMPKINGS CAMPGROUND TRIVIA
Marramarra is part of the traditional lands of the Darug Aboriginal people. Their use and respect of the land can be found in isolated corners of the park. The surviving Aboriginal sites, which provide the only indications of traditional life in the area, are of special importance to local Aboriginal communities. Cave art, rock engravings, grinding grooves, middens, scarred trees, and other occupational deposits and stone arrangements are all part of Marramarra. It's believed that Governor Phillip camped at Gentleman's Halt in 1789 during his explorations of Hawkesbury River. By 1884, there was a small community at Gentlemans Halt and a provisional school had been established.
Today, you'll find it much the same - picturesque and remote bushland with great views across the river, and not a soul in sight so you can take in spectacular views while discovering more about the area’s Aboriginal heritage, and see historic heritage sites from early European settlement.
Because it is so remote it makes the area ideal for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, cycling, camping, bushwalking, picnicking and birdwatching. You're likely to spot a white-breasted sea eagle, swamp wallaby, possum or kingfisher in your travels. If you're really lucky, you might come across some of the more uncommon animals found here such as rails, gang-gang and glossy black cockatoos, and red-crowned toadlets.
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The CampKings Crew